PHOTO CREDIT: Mara Stusser
Lauren Ruth Ward
THERE is a train of thought that suggests…
PHOTO CREDIT: Victoria Craven
solo artists, for the most part, try to fit into crowds and handy boxes. Whilst that might be true for many out there; songwriters like Lauren Ruth Ward defy convention and predictability – offering something truly special and spirited. I have been speaking to her about the video for Blue Collar Sex Kitten – a song that has garnered a lot of praise and focus. She talks about her debut album, Well, Hell – and, with tour dates forming, she plans on coming to the U.K.
Ward talks about the scene in L.A. – where she is based – and how it feels being compared to artists like Janis Joplin; what she has planned for the rest of this year; new artists worth a shout – ending the interview with a great song choice.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
I am Lauren Ruth Ward; a musician from Baltimore, MD; currently residing in Los Angeles.
Blue Collar Sex Kitten is your new track. I like the video a lot! It mixes black-and-white vintage with a modern urgency. What is the background of the song?
We actually released (the track) Blue Collar Sex Kitten on May 1, 2017 - we recently released the music video. This song was very stream-of-consciousness for me. Its meaning is about who I am and how I see the world, mixed with some lighter lines. Everything came thru while allowing myself to just write and not think (too hard).
Well, Hell is your recent album. Were there particular events that influenced your songwriting? Is there a song from the album that stands out above the rest?
Well, Hell is our debut album. No particular events triggered the songs: my life, in general, fed the stories. All the songs play a part in the finished product. If I had to single out one song: Staff Only; because it's, currently, my favorite to perform/opening with - I love my band's harmonies in the intro.
Really gets me into it.
Which musician did you grow up on? Can you each remember the first album you ever bought?
I grew up predominantly listening to music from the ’60s and ’70s; Classic-Rock, Motown; Disco etc. The first C.D. I bought was Hanson - Middle of Nowhere.
PHOTO CREDIT: Hattie Watson
I hear tones of Janis Joplin and Florence Welch! It seems you are compelled by strong female voices. What is it about artists like Joplin that speak to you?
Being compared to Janis is an honor. I don't necessarily pull inspiration from her or one person (or woman). I've always loved to perform. As a child, I danced, cheer-leaded; sang/played guitar in talent shows. My live show is still me loving performance. When I have people’s attention, I feel I need to give them all of me. (I often hear it’s my live performance that makes them think of Janis).
You are based in America. What is the scene like where you are? Are you mostly based in L.A. at the moment?
I live in L.A. The music scene is alive and thriving. I go to two-seven shows a week. The energy is palpable. It’s very special.
PHOTO CREDIT: Lexi Bonin
Will you come to the U.K. and perform this year? Are you a fan of British music?
I WOULD LOVE TO! I am a huge fan of British music (The Beatles - hello!) (Smiles).
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
Many. Opening for my partner (LP) in Italy and France, April of 2017. The crowds were massive and loving. Though it was only four shows, I imagined how great life would be to tour together - doing what I love and being able to be with her.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Believe in yourself. Create something that is true to you. You will never have to ‘reinvent’ or (decide) ‘what to do next’. Just do you.
IN THIS PHOTO: Jen Cloher/PHOTO CREDIT: Tajette O'Halloran
Are there any new acts you advise we check out?
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Jen Cloher - Forgot Myself
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PHOTO CREDIT: Mara Stusser